Midfielder Marko Stamenic has become the first New Zealander to score a goal in the UEFA Champions League in almost 30 years.
Stamenic (21) scored for Serbia’s Red Star Belgrade in their 3-1 loss to German club Leipzig in their Group G fixture on Thursday October 26, 2023 (NZT).
Main photo: Marko Stamenic shows his emotions as he scores against Leipzig.
The last goal in the competition by a New Zealand was scored by another All White, Wynton Rufer, who found the net for SV Werder Bremen against AC Milan on March 16, 1994.
Rufer, who was 31 at the time, was in the twilight of his club career and that was the last of his eight goals in the Champions League, which earned him a share of the league’s Golden Boot with Barcelona’s Ronald Koeman.
Red Star’s loss to Leipzig leaves the side bottom of Group G.
Watch Marko Stamenic score
All White Stamenic joined Red Star Belgrade on July 1 after he declined an extension to his contract at Danish club FC Copenhagen.
While playing for FC Copenhagen, Stamenic made his first appearance in the Champions League, becoming the first New Zealand in more than a decade to feature in the competition.
Players with the same achievement include four New Zealand internationals — Wynton Rufer (with Werder Bremen), national coach Danny Hay (with Leeds United), Chris Killen (with Celtic) and Kim Wright (with Maltese club Floriana).
Watch Wynton Rufer score
Here’s the last time a New Zealander scored in the Champions League — Wynton Rufer’s goal against AC Milan in March 1994.